The 14-year-old Tijanniya was sent in one of these camps to meet other friends and eat as much as she can to become beautiful and worthy to get married. Nobody cares about her dream to become a French teacher and because she loves sports as well, she is worried that by becoming fat she won`t be able to run well. Back at home, her parents have already arranged for her to be married as soon as she gets back.
For now she is staying in the camp with five other girls, all 7 to 12 years old, eating gigantic meals and drinking large quantities of goat milk. She hates goat milk, and her stomach can`t stand it! If they refuse to eat the food they are given they will be beaten and even made to eat their own puke.
If women in Mauritania want to be sexy and desired by men they have to be curvy. A curvy woman symbolizes a wealthy man who has more than enough money to feed his wife! YUCK!
15 years ago the government in Mauritania tried to change things by launching a campaign against child abuse, but unfortunately few years later the democratic government was replaced by the Junta and they bought back all the old tradition, including the force-feeding.
One of the women, who work in these camps and earn $155 from each girl, is more than happy with these old traditions and laws being brought back.
Mauritanian social workers and doctors are more than concerned with the increasing numbers of young girls who suffer from diseases caused by obesity.
Something has to give and things have to change!